Cemetery says family must cover cost of vandalized grave - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Cemetery says family must cover cost of vandalized grave

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The grave marker of James Allen with the flower vase missing. The grave marker of James Allen with the flower vase missing.
Rick Allen Rick Allen
Christopher Payton (Source: LMDC) Christopher Payton (Source: LMDC)
Leonard Madden (Source: LMDC) Leonard Madden (Source: LMDC)
Dixie Madden (Source: LMDC) Dixie Madden (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville man says his deceased brother has been the victim of a crime.

The grave of James Allen was just one of several markers at Bethany Cemetery that had vases worth several hundred dollars stolen, but the cemetery says it's not their job to replace it.

When Rick Allen came to Bethany Cemetery to place the flowers on his little brother's grave, he noticed the $600 vase missing from older brother's marker next to it.

"You don't do that," said Allen shaking his head.

It's about all Allen can do when he looks at the empty hole in his brother's grave marker, and the one next to it where the vases once stood.

"It's sad. It really is," said Allen. "That someone would come in a graveyard and steal out of a grave yard. I don't understand that."

Three people were picked up not long after Allen noticed the vases missing. Christopher Payton, 34, Leonard Madden, 27, and Dixie Madden, 30, are charged with violating graves after they were found with five brass vases taken from headstones at Bethany Cemetery. Allen was told none of them belonged to his brother's grave. Figuring out who took the vase is only the beginning because when he went to the office to inform them of the missing items.

"She said your homeowners (insurance) will pay for it. I said no it won't."

Allen's mother paid for his older brother's plot almost 10 years ago before she herself passed, so he doesn't have insurance on it. "I said we done and paid for it once why should we have to pay for it again?" He says she told him it was his responsibility. "How can this grave yard be my responsibility?" he asked.

Jonathan Keith with Bethany Cemetery says it sickens them too that someone could desecrate a grave, but it's up to the surviving family members insurance to pay for anything that happens to the marker. It's a response that Allen says doesn't help him get his brother's vase back. "It's not right. A little bit of help would be nice."

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